Friday, 27 February 2015

Hebrew Character

I probably should have actually checked the Wallingford RIS trap yesterday before writing that it had only caught one moth in 2015. In fact, I checked it last night before leaving work and there were 4 moths in it from Wednesday night: 2 Chestnuts, 1 Pale Brindled Beauty and the first Hebrew Character of the year. Marc Botham, Didcot

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Last night's results

Like Marc I had a reasonable night last night but, considering how mild it was, had hoped for rather better results.  A single MV trap was run in Bernwood Forest, Bucks for a few hours and it brought in just over 80 moths of 11 species:  Ypsolopha ustella (1), Agonopterix heracliana (1), Acleris cristana (1), Tortricodes alternella (5), March Moth (11), Small Brindled Beauty (1), Pale Brindled Beauty (32), Spring Usher (9), Dotted Border (1), Satellite (1) and Chestnut (18).  Back home at Westcott the garden actinic trap got into double digits for the first time this year but from only three species:  Agonopterix heracliana (4), Pale Brindled Beauty (4) & Dotted Border (2).  The most significant thing here was the numbers of Ophion obscuratus which came to this light (23).  Each of those wasps will presumably have meant a gruesome end for one noctuid caterpillar.
Dave Wilton

Acleris cristana, Bernwood Forest 25th February

Ophion obscuratus, Westcott 25th February


Warm night but moth numbers still low

Took advantage of last nights balmy weather to complete Feb surveys at Bagley Woods and Harcourt Arboretum. tried to get there early this morning to avoid the rain but Oxfordshire's road network's inability to deal with traffic when the A34 goes down caused me a 2 hr journey from Didcot to Bagley and I arrived just as the heavens opened. Anyway, it was t-shirt and shorts weather last night so i had expectations of a fairly good catch. It was certainly better than January's catch, but still rather disappointing. The night started with a quick hour or so scanning tree trunks on Shotover Hill trying to find some wingless females. No luck, and more puzzlingly I only saw one moth - a male Dotted Border!

The traps (2 x MV left overnight) this morning at Bagley yielded my first Small brindled Beauties of the year, though only 4, along with a single Spring Usher, Tortricodes alternella (5), Acleris notana/ferrugana (2), March Moth (5), Pale Brindled Beauty (3), Chestnut (20), Satellite (8) and Acleris cristana (1). The good numbers of those species spending the winter as adults shows that conditions were good, and further supports my feeling that 'winter' moths have not had a good year.

At Harcourt, in a single MV trap left overnight, numbers of Pale Brindled Beauty were better with 13 caught, but other species abundances were very low: March Moth (2), T. alternella (2), Red-green Carpet (1), Chestnut (4), A. notana/ferrugana (1) and my first Common Quaker of the year.

The garden trap at Didcot was, as per usual, empty, and the Rothamsted trap at work in Wallingford has only seen one moth so far this year. Marc Botham, Didcot

Small Brindled Beauty - Bagley Woods 25-02-15

Common Quaker - Harcourt Arboretum 25-02-15

Some garden moths in Cookham

My garden trap here in Cookham attracted 3 moths last night. 1 March Moth, 1 Common Quaker, and a micro photographed below which I think is Tortricodes alternella, but I would appreciate confirmation. It is certainly good to see moths again after the winter break.

Steve Trigg, Cookham

Radnage Moths

I ran the MV trap last night,for only the 4th time this year. 4 Pale Brindled Beauty, 2 March moth, 1 Early moth and 1 Chestnut. Also 5 Agonopteryx sp.
Ched George.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Join the dots

Things have been very quiet here because my trap bulb is broken and too much has been going on for me to get my act together to order a new one. Tonight, however, this Dotted Border came and spent the evening on our kitchen window and by so doing, becomes my first record for 2015.

By a happy coincidence, the Dotted Border was one of my first moths last year too, and features on the blog for this very Wednesday in February twelve months ago.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Westcott, Bucks

Some activity in the garden at last.  A March Moth and a Dotted Border came to the actinic trap here at Westcott last night.  Tonight's weather looks quite promising too.
Dave Wilton

March Moth, Westcott 24th February 

Dotted Border, Westcott 24th February

Monday, 16 February 2015

March Moth

Single March Moth to the Rothamsted Light trap at CEH Wallingford on Thursday 12th Februrary. Garden trap still drawing blanks with the exception of a solitary Satellite over a week ago. Marc Botham, Didcot

Finemere Wood, Bucks

A single MV run for a few hours at Finemere Wood on Saturday night (14th) produced a single example of Tortricodes alternella as the only species new for the year.  The rest of the catch comprised Early Moth (1), Pale Brindled Beauty (9) & Spring Usher (11), so still very few species around and none of them yet in significant numbers.
Dave Wilton

Tortricodes alternella, Finemere Wood 14th January

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Loosley Row, Bucks

A March Moth and a Pale Brindled Beauty came to the garden trap last night.


Saturday, 14 February 2015

A Moth, A Moth, and the first one of the year..

At last, a nocturnal winged beastie made it's way into my garden in Seer Green last night; a Satellite

Dave Morris

Friday, 13 February 2015

Moths and light pollution

A new research paper was published today on the effects of artificial light on Winter Moths. It struck me as a fascinating experiment, and inspired me to add to my own blog for the first time since 2012!

In brief, Koert van Geffen and colleagues have demonstrated that artificial lighting reduces the breeding success of Winter Moths. To find out more go to:
Lightness falls

P.S. Pale Brindled Beauty on the bathroom window two nights ago was my second moth for the year :)

Thursday, 12 February 2015

More spring moths

Like Darren, i have found Pale brindled beauties and Early moths emerging over the last couple of days cloudier, calm weather. By cycling around Fairford leys estate in Aylesbury and checking security and porch lamps i've found 7 Early moths and 3 Pale brindled beauties - great to find a few moths at last! Dave Maunder
Pale brindled beauties and Early moth, 12-2-2015


Just 1 micro last night, a new one for my Milton Keynes garden, Tortricodes alternella.
Darren Seaman, MK

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Two moths in one night

Without a doubt the best night of my year with 2 macros, first coming to my 25w Blacklight bulb was a lovely Early Moth shortly after dark. Then about 11pm a Pale Brindled Beauty landed on the trap.

Hopefully more tonight.
Darren Seaman, Milton Keynes

Monday, 9 February 2015

Garden Moth Scheme Conference - a reminder

Martin Harvey's post on 20th January gave full details about the annual GMS Conference which will be taking place on Sunday 1st March at the Chiltern Woodland Burial Park (Potkiln Lane, off the A40 east of Beaconsfield, Bucks).  Some spaces are still available and you don't have to be a contributor to the GMS to take part.  Contact Janet Cheney to reserve a place.   

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Ushering in spring?

Finally found a reasonable moth here in Aylesbury after weeks of cold weather, a Spring usher found below a security lamp in Fairford leys. Although common enough in local woodland, i've only found these sparingly here in Aylesbury. Also saw an Angle Shades larva being eaten by a Wren on my patio yesterday! Dave Maunder
Spring usher, 8-2-2015, Fairford leys, Aylesbury.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Ectoedemia heringella

An hour's circuit of local villages this afternoon to look at holm oaks (Quercus ilex) produced many active mines of Ectoedemia heringella on every one inspected, including a few on an isolated road-side tree west of Steeple Claydon, Bucks which had none on it this time last year.  The image below was from a hedge near the church in Quainton, Bucks and shows a typical leaf with several active mines.  A few active and many vacated mines of Phyllonorycter messaniella were also found.  There was no sign of Stigmella suberivora which should also be actively mining now on holm oak.  The species has yet to be discovered in Bucks although it is known from some adjacent counties.
Dave Wilton

Mines of Ectoedemia heringella, Quainton 6th February


Monday, 2 February 2015

Recorders Meeting in Birmingham

I thought I'd cheat with the report and copy Ina Smith's that she posted on the Ceredigion blog - with a few minor changes. Thanks Ina.

On Saturday Martin Albertini and I attended the National Moth Recorders’ Meeting in Birmingham. There was a very interesting program of talks on some wide ranging topics from Sweden, Scotland and even Wales!
Mark Young put forward the arguments for and against a national micro-moth recording scheme, a very good idea but for the obvious problems of verification.

Some interesting work being done on producing synthetic pheromones for some of the rarer moths, using Burnet moths as an example.
A talk by Dr Lars Pettersson of Lund University in Sweden, on the rapid range expansion of moths in Sweden. This to some extent echoed the northerly shift of some moth species in Britain.

Other subjects covered were Cinnabar Moths, recording moths in Lakeland and some thoughts on results from the Garden Moths Scheme.

A very good finale was a piece on extreme mothing in Wales by George Tordoff, this included high altitude recording, some of it with a cherry picker!!
There was of course a discussion on the up-coming atlas of Macro-moths and a list of ‘white holes’ was available, should anyone fancy a holiday in an out of the way place, we have the list.  We have no under-recorded squares in Bucks or Berks but there are 3 in Oxon: SP20, SP32 and SP52 with 4, 3 and 1 record respectively.  I can see Mr Wilton already getting his map out.

This was a very enjoyable day - and we both chatted with people we knew and also those that we'd been e-mailing over the year. Martin Harvey was there as was Marc Botham  and a good contingent from north Bucks. If you've never been to one of these, try and make the effort in early 2016, although booking is essential. You can usually scrounge a lift, like I did. Peter Hall